Washington signing Chien-Ming Wang to an incentive-laden one-year contract for 2010 didn’t work out so well, as never threw a pitch for the Nationals after struggling to come back from shoulder surgery, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the two sides are giving it another try.
According to Rosenthal the Nationals are close to signing Wang to another one-year deal, presumably even heavier on incentives and lighter on guaranteed money after he earned $2 million this year.
Wang hasn’t pitched in the majors since July of 2009, when shoulder problems ended his season with a 1-6 record and 9.64 ERA, and the former Cy Young award runner-up also missed much of 2008 with a foot injury.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.